CORONA, California – There’s a rumor going around that when the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by GEICO opens the second half of its season July 26-28 with night racing at Glen Helen Raceway Park the trophies for the Pro Lite race winners will be shaped like brooms.
That’s because clean sweeps have been the rule for that class during the series previous visits to the multi-purpose motor sports facility in Devore, California, a few miles north of San Bernardino.
The world’s best short course off road drivers have raced on the 0.8-mile, 5-turn course at Glen Helen four times since 2010 and on three occasions there has been just one winner in the Pro Lite class.
Last year it was Bradley Morris, who beat Casey Currie and Brian Deegan in the first main event and Deegan and Currie in the second. In May, 2011, Deegan had wielded the broom, with Chris Brandt and Kyle LeDuc taking turns in second and third. And in 2010 Marty Hart bested Deegan and Matt Loiodice on opening day and Brandt and John Beyer in the finale.
The only time there were different faces on the top step of the podium each day was in August, 2011, when the winners were Deegan on Saturday and Cameron Steele on Sunday.
There have been sweeps in other classes as well. Pro 4 belonged to Eric Barron last season and the late Rick Huseman in August, 2011; Pro 2 was dominated by Carl Renezeder in May, 2011, and Rob MacCachren in 2010; Myles Cheek and Chad Graham doubled their fun in Junior 2 Karts in August, 2011, and 2010, respectively; and Broc Dickerson took home two Junior 1 Kart winner’s trophies in August, 2011.
The only sweep-free classes have been Pro Buggy, which has had 7 different winners in 8 races, and Modified Kart, which has had 6 different winners.
There’s obviously no way to predict another sweep or two this time around, but no one will be surprised if it happens, either. That’s especially true in Pro 4, where the story line leading up to Glen Helen mirrors last season’s.
Barron tuned up for last year’s sweep of rounds 9 and 10 by winning round 8, at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, and he won round 8 again last month in the LAT Oil/Rancho Suspension Toyota he has spent the past two seasons developing. The difference is that Barron’s win this season snapped a 9-race win streak by Renezeder, who had only 1 victory at this juncture in 2012.
Morris, a talented 16-year-old from Romoland, California, proved he’s capable of repeating last year’s Pro Lite sweep by coming within a pair of last-lap bobbles of claiming both main events in Utah. He’s also tied with Deegan for the most series wins at Glen Helen with 5.
Next on that all-time win list is reigning Modified Karts champion Cheek, who got his fourth victory in 2012, and there are seven drivers with three wins – MacCachren Renezeder, Huseman, Hart, Dickerson, Chad Graham and John Fitzgerald.
There have been 40 different winners in 78 races overall and many of them will be on hand for Glen Helen V.
MacCachren will go into the weekend with a 3-race win streak and the Pro 2 lead over Renezeder, Deegan and Hart. Renezeder, who has a victory and 4 seconds in Pro 2, will be trying to start a new Pro 4 win streak. Deegan will be out to extend his lead in Pro Lite, where Morris is sixth and without a win, and Fitzgerald will be looking for his first win in Pro Buggy, where he is third and 32 points behind leader Dave Mason.
All of them will have brooms in their equipment trailers, too. You never know when some sweeping will be in order.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by GEICO is supported by a potent marketing concept known as “Team Lucas” whose members include Lucas Oil Products Inc., E3 Spark Plugs, General Tire, GEICO, Canidae All Natural Pet Food, MAVTV-American Real, Speedco Truck Lube and Tire, Optima Batteries, Toyota, iON Cameras, LoanMart and Protect The Harvest.
Additional sponsorship is provided by Rockstar Energy, 4 Wheel Parts, Lunarpages, ReadyLIFT, Mickey Thompson Tires, Team Associated and Magna Flow.